Veterans Adventures to offer trail excursion

Service personnel past and present can take part in a week-long spring break backpacking adventure courtesy of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Veteran Adventures. 

The multi-sport trip along the River to River Trail in Southern Illinois is scheduled to take place March 10-18. 

The trip is open to all current military service members, all veterans and members of the National Guard, the reserves and ROTC. 

There is no cost to participate, Veteran Adventures provides transportation, food and gear, courtesy of fund-raising efforts. 

SIU’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center, located about 8 miles south of Carbondale, will host the outdoor adventure. 

Participants will explore many of the scenic natural sites located in Southern Illinois during the trip. 

The trip is scheduled to begin at Touch of Nature, where participants will travel by canoe on Little Grassy Lake to reach the first trailhead on the River to River Trail. The walking portion of the backpacking excursion begins there. 

Walking an average of 6 to 10 miles daily, participants will camp and hike through the Shawnee National Forest. 

Destinations are scheduled to include Panther Den Wilderness, Ferne Clyffe State Park, Lusk Creek Wilderness, One Horse Gap and Garden of the Gods Wilderness. 

As they go, the veterans will climb the ancient sandstone bluffs of Jackson Falls, zip line through the forest canopies of the Shawnee Hills and do much more. 

While there is no cost to participate, advance registration is necessary. Registration for the River to River backpacking trip is available online, by calling 618-453-1121 or by emailing

To learn more about Veteran Adventures or the numerous programs, services and facilities offered by Touch of Nature, visit, call 618-453-1121, or email

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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